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SWF Research

For Professionals

SWF Research

When The Sturge-Weber Foundation was founded in 1987, not much was known about Port Wine birthmarks, Sturge-Weber syndrome, and Klippel-Trenaunay.  Today, we know the cause of SWS is the somatic mutation in GNAQ somatic mutation on chromosome 9q21.

"To wrest from nature the secrets which have perplexed philosophers in all ages, to track to their sources the causes of disease, to correlate the vast stores of knowledge, that they may be quickly available for the prevention and cure of disease-these are our ambitions." - Sir William Osler

What is Translational Research?
Translational research is when biological insights are gained through basic research and transformed into products that improve human health. Some of these products might include genetic tests, molecular biomarkers, and therapeutic treatment options. The Sturge-Weber Foundation is engaging in translational research with the SWS Project of the Brain Vascular Malformation Consortium (BVMC) by doing genetic studies and looking into potential biomarkers.

The majority of genetics research has focused on improving our understanding of the biology of genes and genomes. This research gene discovery and has laid the foundation for future research by understanding the underlying biological causes of disease.

Capitalizing on these advances in our knowledge of fundamental human biology will require an increase in translational research in the years to come. Improving human health outcomes, community involvement and advocacy leadership will be crucial for translational research to succeed. We need an army of volunteers to make these advances a reality in our lifetime. Please join the SWF when the call to action is sent to person truly can make a difference!

SWS Registry
We need your help in taking a critical step toward learning more about our children and adults hopefully identifying effective treatments to help them experience life to the fullest. The online Sturge-Weber International Patient Registry has recently been launched for any individuals diagnosed with Sturge-Weber syndrome (SWS) or who have a port wine birthmark on the forehead and/or eye region.

Establishing the Registry addresses two critical needs.  First, scientists studying SWS need accurate, first-hand information to understand how SWS affects people.  Second, scientists will be able to find out if there are any SWS patients who might be a good match for their research studies.  In either case, scientists will not be able to receive any identifying information about you or your child unless you give explicit consent for your child's identity to be released to a researcher. 

We are requesting your participation now.  The first step is to read "Understanding Your Participation" at  Then, if you agree to participate in the Registry, you will need to indicate your consent at the bottom of the form and "register" so that you can obtain a login username and password.  Once you create this login, you are ready to create a profile in the Registry. 

Please let us know if you need a copy of any information you have already shared with the Foundation that can help you complete your registration and input data and records - we will be happy to provide this information to you. 

Detailed information and a Q & A are provided at

We are optimistic about the future benefits of creating this important online library of information about SWS which has grown out of 25 years of mutual information sharing by patients and their families. 

For researchers needing information on registry access, please contact Dr. Jonathan Pevsner,

Published Articles by Our Researchers:

  • Dr. Eric Bernstein, Dermatologist
    Dr. Eric Bernstein, Dermatologist

    The way to make the Foundation survive going forward is for all of us to reach out to our colleagues, to the residents, and fellows that we are training and bring them on board."